24H design marecollege extension based on ancient symbolimage © boris zeisser

 

 

 

a redevelopment of marecollege led by 24H in leiden, a municipality of southern holland, aims to resettle an area once tenantless. the design addresses the dialogue between an existing building and the ambitious program required of an educational complex with ptolmeaic and copernican philosophy, an appropriate conceptual refuge for a rudolf steiner school. the educational structure developed by the austrian academic values imagination and the artistic process as integral to the learning experience. the architects took to task building marecollege as an extension of the orthogonal building while still espousing the principals of anthroposophy, the heart of steiner pedagogy that promotes the investigation of the intellectual-spiritual world through the natural sciences. architecturally, ideas about education as a infinitely self-nourishing feedback loop manifest as the a dynamic, contoured plan and a material palette that recalls the life cycle of a plant. the two dimensional symbol of a lemniscate, a figure 8-type form commonly used to symbolize infinity, is rendered into a space with two staircases that wind up to the first floor of the building. the entrance of the building is where the dynamic lines of the ancient symbol cross. the spaces derived from the extrusion of the 2D symbol accommodate social areas like the library and auditorium. the school’s basic wood cladding is enlivened with louver-like ridges that undulate to create the shapes of stems and leaves. existing masonry walls were enriched with a layer of five-leaved ivy, a creeping plant that changes color in the fall. the built form is envisioned as a motivator for students to think about reality, the world-system and, moreover, their place in it.

 

 

24H design marecollege extension based on ancient symbol

wooden cladding is artfully composed into circulcation as well as the building skin image © boris zeisser

 

24H design marecollege extension based on ancient symbol

the wooden facade uses materials and form to express the life cycle of a plant image © boris zeisser

 

 

24H design marecollege extension based on ancient symbol

spaces are created with a looped plan image © boris zeisser

 

 

24H design marecollege extension based on ancient symbol

a palette of stone and wood warm the interiors image © boris zeisser

 

24H design marecollege extension based on ancient symbol

sweeping curves of beams and staircases characterize the new social spaces of the building image © boris zeisser

 

 

24H design marecollege extension based on ancient symbol

the extension provides more informal gathering spaces image © boris zeisser

 

 

24H design marecollege extension based on ancient symbol

an auditorium program was fitted into the extension image © boris zeisser

 

 

24H design marecollege extension based on ancient symbol

detail view of the dimensional facade image © boris zeisser

 

 

24H design marecollege extension based on ancient symbol

one of the loops of the figure-8 plan crosses to form the entrance image © boris zeisser

 

 

24H design marecollege extension based on ancient symbolimage © boris zeisser

 

24H design marecollege extension based on ancient symbol

auditorium view image © boris zeisser